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Confrontation with another mom at open gym. - Page 4

post #61 of 124
OP, I'm glad you came back and hopefully haven't felt attacked.

I like the term gaslighting. This other mom seems very troubled. I like Super Glue Mommy's line in response:

Quote:
"Thank you for taking the time to email me. I feel confident between the two of us we can help the boys resolve any similar problems with eachother in the future. Have a nice day!"
post #62 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savoury View Post
Back on topic cuz I need more advice...

She emailed me today. And I have no clue what to think. Just when I was feeling peace, I get this horrible stressed-out feeling. She accuses my son of some awful behavior, but in this backhanded nice way, and then she goes on to say she has seen him act like this time and time again. Like that is all he does. She barely knows me. And I have seen her child act out. Time and time again. Isn't that what kids do sometimes? Shoot, as my husband says, even adults act out... as she did.

She apologized for her outburst, explains some reasoning behind it (she was picked on, her child is sensitive), says I obviously have my hands full with three kids and can't handle them all (but in a nice way, so I guess that should make me feel better about it). She also blames my son for everything that happened there, even going on to say when he was playing tag he had "a malicious look in his eye when he did it, like he knew full well what he was doing", and tagged C. DS has no recollection of tagging C, at all.

The kicker is that she says it is obvious we do not give DS enough attention at home which is why he is acting out.

Then she says she would love to help me, basically gain control of my kids.

While I appreciate her apology and I do know that I owe her one for DS hitting C, the rest of the email infuriates me.
I would love to tell you to igore this unbalanced individual, but honestly I don't think she's going to let you do that. Based on her behaviour at the gym and her "helpful" follow-up it sounds like she's stewing over the entire thing and trying to set herself up to look better in any future confrontations. If you reply to her and let her know you're on to her, then she can play the martyr to the rest of the group - I was wrong for my outburst and I apologized even though her son has so many issues. I even offered to help her out because obviously she has her hands full and needs assistance with her son and just LOOK how mean she was back to me! If you do nothing then she can tell people that you were so rude she never even responded when I was trying to be nice! No wonder her son has issues if that's the way she acts! Unfortunately from the original incident and the followup e-mail she sent, it doesn't sound like this is over and it also sounds like having approval is important to her. I would probably send her a short reply something like this:

I appreciate your apology. We are aware of any issues our son may have and while I appreciate your concern, they are being dealt with successfully. Perception differences aside, I'm confident in the future our children are of an age where they can learn to co-exist peacefully and work out any further issues.

With that you've just acknowledged her apology and tacitly accepted it, rebuffed her insults about your family in a polite but "butt out" kind of way, and pointed out that both children have work to do when it comes to social interactions without accusing her child directly of any wrong behaviour - all the while telling her that she needs to step back. It also closes the issue and does not leave it open for further discussion. I wouldn't reply to anything beyond this, and though it sounds paranoid and childish, do not delete her e-mail(s). You may need those in the future if she gets too difficult. I hate games like this. Good luck!

K.
post #63 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savoury View Post
Back on topic cuz I need more advice...

She emailed me today. And I have no clue what to think. Just when I was feeling peace, I get this horrible stressed-out feeling. She accuses my son of some awful behavior, but in this backhanded nice way, and then she goes on to say she has seen him act like this time and time again. Like that is all he does. She barely knows me. And I have seen her child act out. Time and time again. Isn't that what kids do sometimes? Shoot, as my husband says, even adults act out... as she did.

She apologized for her outburst, explains some reasoning behind it (she was picked on, her child is sensitive), says I obviously have my hands full with three kids and can't handle them all (but in a nice way, so I guess that should make me feel better about it). She also blames my son for everything that happened there, even going on to say when he was playing tag he had "a malicious look in his eye when he did it, like he knew full well what he was doing", and tagged C. DS has no recollection of tagging C, at all.

The kicker is that she says it is obvious we do not give DS enough attention at home which is why he is acting out.

Then she says she would love to help me, basically gain control of my kids.

While I appreciate her apology and I do know that I owe her one for DS hitting C, the rest of the email infuriates me.
Dear C's Mom,
Thank you for your message.
I accept your apology.
I'm sorry the boys had trouble getting along. Ds was wrong to hit when your son called him a name. I have spoken to him about it and we are talking about better ways to handle situations that might crop up in future.

Sincerely,
Savoury
post #64 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
I don't like the term "forced" apologies, as if I am standing there with a fun to their heads. I prefer "encouraged." And no, they do not have to say they forgive someone but if someone apologizes they should say, "Thank you for apologizing."
well, we encourage apologies as well, just not in a "or else" kind of way. there is no bottom line of apologize or xyz (such as us leaving) because I dont see HOW a child could not feel manipulated into apologizing at that point. its either going to be a power struggle (they feel SO strongly that an apology is not in order that they end up being punished for staying true to themselves) OR it's not a big deal (they give a sincere-sounding apology because they really want to stay and play) I learned VERY early what a sincere apology SOUNDED like - didnt mean my empty apologies were sincere, just convincing to my mother (satisfied here, didnt satisfy the other child, though I did later in life learn how to TRULY make amends)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
I guess part of this is our definition of "apologize". You see, apologize is not just a word, but is actually to offer an apology or excuse for some fault, insult, failure, or injury. So, I teach my children to apologize with the idea of either offering a "reason" or "excuse" along with a sincere request for forgiveness.

So, it may come across soemthing like, "Energizer, I am sorry for hitting you. I was angry because you took my toy, but I should not have hit you." - this, this is the kind of apology we try to teach as well

It is not really about making the offended person "feel better" because, quite frankly it is not likely to do that. It is about what is right. And THEN, once the apology has been made, it is up to the offender to attempt to make it up to them, although sometimes it is not that easy. That is where the consequenses come in. (And I do not "force" apologies for things that are not clearly their fault.)
I agree - it's about what is right. as I said before, they should apologize for what they did, and in the end it shouldnt matter what the other person did or whether or not the other person apologized its about being accountable to themselves for themselves.

If they are not truly sorry, they will not HAVE to apologize, but they will have still have to make it up to the offended person. And it is not easy to do when you are holding a grudge. Then, the consequenses can be more and/or longer than if there had been a true apology.:
you lost me... this is where we differ for sure. sounds very manipulative to me, I thought my moms approach was confusing this would have made me ill as a child (i was always very sensitive - IDK if you read the highly sensitive child or not, but this approach would honestly have made me physically ill from confusion)

We really try and make the "punishment fit the crime". So, while we will offer them a chance to "fix it" themselves, if it is not an adequate attempt or a true apology, I will "top it off" with an additional consequence.
aha, again where we differ. we don't use punishment. this sounds so much like my mother. perhaps my mothers approach worked for some children but I will say for ME it really set me back. of course you know your children better then anyone else, so my mother's inability to pick up on her ineffectiveness with me is separate from your interactions with your children and irrelevant, just sharing my experience for the sake of the OP

This is just how I teach my children and live my life. It works for us and my children have learned to be very polite and kind to people, offering appropriate apologies when needed. But it may not work for everyone.

But, I guess I have gotten quite far off OT. I guess this is really a topic more suited to a new thread.
(i replied within this quote in underline because im lazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
This is an excellent question.

First, I want to say that our "forced" apology is NOT a lie. My children are taught to "apologize" not just say "I am sorry", and they can wait until they are ready, however they can not continue until they do.

if I were your child, you would totally think I was giving a sincere apology and I would be SO full of it it would be coming out of my ears and making a pile on the floor next to me.


For example, when "Tank" hit his brother today. I sent him to his room to think about it. I would not allow him to continue playing with them until he had apologized. He sat in his room for about five minutes and then asked if he could come out now. I asked him if he were ready to apologize, and he said yes. So he went and found "Energizer" and said, "Energizer, I'm sorry for hitting you." "Energizer replied with an, 'I forgive you'" and then they continued with their playing. "Tank" is 4 years old.

I would sit there long enough that you had thought I had thought about. i would be sitting there thinking about how I can say a sincere SOUNDING apology (that sounded sincere to you) and I would be counting in my head trying to figure out how many minutes has passed so that it would sound sincere. Usually before doing this I would stare at the popcorn ceilings and see if I saw patterns or pictures, once bored I would probably count to 2 or 3 minutes, the come out and give my fake apology that you would fall for.

He has been taught that he must apologize (not with a generic "I'm sorry" but with a true apology that includes his offense). This reminds him what he did wrong as well the need to "fix it". The apology does not give him a get out of jail free card either. There are consequences to all actions. Sometimes the apology is all that is required but most of the time, an apology is only the first step, then there is restitution or some other appropriate consequence to make the offended party "whole" (or as "whole" as can be made under the circumstances).
a sincere apology AND a consequence. The only thing (as a child) I am sorry about at this point is getting in trouble. I probably feel even LESS true remorse towards this person. If I hurt them it was because *I* was hurting. I had an unmet need. and now im being punished for it. I am feelings resent towards my mother and the other person at this point. Have you read connection parenting? I highly recommend it. Of course you may have really resilient children not sensitive like I was, but again for the sake of the OP I am sharing how this approach "worked" for me (ie - didnt work but made my mom feel like it was working)

I have taught them the need to forgive, as well. I do not "force" forgiveness, however, I live it in front of them, and let them know how important it is. So, they almost always offer an "I forgive you" when they are apologized to.


I can tell when they really apologize. And if it is not sincere they are welcome to set themselves apart until they are ready.
Yeah my thought so too. sometimes my apologies didnt sound sincere, and I had to try a couple times to muster up the convincing sincere sounding apology that was just as fake as the first one. It's not like children hurt others for NO reason, so I really agree with Storm Bride on this one. If a child hits another child, you will rarely get a TRUE sincere apology without connection before correction, as until the unmet need is addressed that is what the child is focused on and they are feeling justified in their actions.

Anyways, I find it important for them to learn how to apologize willingly and quickly. This is a taught response, IME. And if taught early in life it tends to come our easier and more genuine. I agree restitution is important to learn. I think anything taught early in life comes easier. The approach you are talking about is what delayed me in learning this genuinely. My children have learned the true meaning of apologies and sympathy. I know there apologies are genuine because they are not required. First we connect before correcting. Then we explain why one should apologizes, how one can apologize, the importance of it, etc - I find that when I have truely fixed the problem at its source (met the unmet need through connection) that my children will apologize, because they are good by nature, no need for coercion, they want restitution.
more underline lol
post #65 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
That situation totally sucks. That's emotionally manipulative and dishonest, for someone to have a pattern of deliberately and self-servingly twisting another's words.

But where you don't know that to be the pattern, ie in general discourse with others/acquaintances, I think it's demonstrating social skill to try and fit our actions/words to how we can predict others will perceive us. In the OP's example, the lesson for her son is how to (and not to) join social play.

As for requiring apologies, the apology is not exclusively about how the other person feels as much as it's about navigating social relationships and having standards of behaviour for ourselves. When my son has hit another child, he knows that he should not have struck the other child and needs to mend fences as a matter of principle (this is at six, not younger ages).
I agree with all the bolded. It can definitely be used as a learning opportunity to teach her son about how to/how not to join social play. this would be beneficial to everyone. My son is the kind who needs help with this because of his social delays. Which kind of reminds me a of a cute story, my friend took my son to school today and was going over the rules with him that I go over with him. A 3rd grader overheard and said "excuse me, but (my sons name) is a very good boy! everyone in my class loves him" this 3rd grader was scolding my friend hahahaha

I TOTALLY agree with what an apology means. This is what we teach our children and why we don't force apologies or manipulate our children into apologizing.
post #66 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
Dear C's Mom,
Thank you for your message.
I accept your apology.
I'm sorry the boys had trouble getting along. Ds was wrong to hit when your son called him a name. I have spoken to him about it and we are talking about better ways to handle situations that might crop up in future.

Sincerely,
Savoury
I like this one...it points out the role that her son had in this issue. It sounds like this woman really is messed up. She's insecure and is bullying. She doesn't see her son through accurate lenses at all. Short and sweet and avoid her like the plague in the future.
post #67 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
OP, I'm glad you came back and hopefully haven't felt attacked.
Nope! Haven't felt attacked. Got the big girl panties on and everything I have learned a lot and will certainly handle something like this better in the future.
post #68 of 124
Or instead of saying you accept her apology, say "thanks for taking the time to email me." like another poster mentioned. Don't mention that your son has any issues. You may feel that he has issues, but don't acknowledge that to anyone who would use that against him.
post #69 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
Dear C's Mom,
Thank you for your message.
I accept your apology.
I'm sorry the boys had trouble getting along. Ds was wrong to hit when your son called him a name. I have spoken to him about it and we are talking about better ways to handle situations that might crop up in future.

Sincerely,
Savoury
Well, I haven't had the chance to tell her her son called mine a name. She was too busy yelling at me for me to tell her.

As for other issues, my husband and I had a huge talk with our son tonight about the situation so we could understand everything that went on. I now have a clearer idea of his thoughts and actions and what he did right and wrong. We also agreed her owed C an apology and next time he see's him he will give it. Which I thought was a step in the right direction.
post #70 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidzaplenty View Post
This is just how I teach my children and live my life. It works for us and my children have learned to be very polite and kind to people, offering appropriate apologies when needed. But it may not work for everyone.
Fair enough. It probably should be a new thread, but this topic is one that really bugs me. Requiring apologies seems to "work" for many people, but I don't know what "work" means in this context. Honestly, it seems to mean that social conventions have been fulfilled, and that's never been one my main goals, in either my life or my parenting.

In any case, most children I've known (both as a child myself and as a parent) willingly apologize at the drop of a hat, and mean nothing by it, so I don't really pay much attention to it, anymore. I can assume that most MDC moms handle it differently, simply because there's a different underlying philosophy pervading this community...but "I'm sorry" is meaningless noise to me, and apologies that are required are also meaningless noise to me. "I'm sorry" from a child's mouth is just one more litmus test that people tend to apply to each other's parenting, and those get old...
post #71 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Fair enough. It probably should be a new thread, but this topic is one that really bugs me. Requiring apologies seems to "work" for many people, but I don't know what "work" means in this context. Honestly, it seems to mean that social conventions have been fulfilled, and that's never been one my main goals, in either my life or my parenting.

In any case, most children I've known (both as a child myself and as a parent) willingly apologize at the drop of a hat, and mean nothing by it, so I don't really pay much attention to it, anymore. I can assume that most MDC moms handle it differently, simply because there's a different underlying philosophy pervading this community...but "I'm sorry" is meaningless noise to me, and apologies that are required are also meaningless noise to me. "I'm sorry" from a child's mouth is just one more litmus test that people tend to apply to each other's parenting, and those get old...
I think some people get more out of their children apologize then their children get out of it. This was the case for my mom. Her goal was for her kids to make her look good. My goal is for my children to show the good inside them on their own for the own benefit, not for mine. love you insight on this whole thing. I think its hard for some people to understand this the way you and I do. Do you think you are a sensitive person, and thats why you are able to pick up on the subtleties? That is the case for me. I think most sensitive people would understand why forcing or manipulate apologies are not really sincere even if they seem that way outwardly, but I can understand how many people who are not sensitive can't understand or "miss the mark" in understanding this.
post #72 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
Or instead of saying you accept her apology, say "thanks for taking the time to email me." like another poster mentioned. Don't mention that your son has any issues. You may feel that he has issues, but don't acknowledge that to anyone who would use that against him.
Oh, this! That's really important. We've certainly experienced pathologizing of our son - where something goes on, and he wears the bulk of the "blame" because he has "issues." Sometimes kids behave like turkeys because they're young and learning, not because of any 'issues' they may have.
post #73 of 124
I really do not think your son should have apologized. Plus, she really needed to get a handle on her spoiled child's behavior. Plus, the homeschool community is not big. Her child is young. It will not take long for her to run out of friends and homeschool things to go to.

I would have emailed her back and told her what I really thought.
post #74 of 124
I may disagree with how you handled it but this mom is taking things WAY to seriously. They're kids, jeez. Move on.
post #75 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savoury View Post
Back on topic cuz I need more advice...

She emailed me today. And I have no clue what to think. Just when I was feeling peace, I get this horrible stressed-out feeling. She accuses my son of some awful behavior, but in this backhanded nice way, and then she goes on to say she has seen him act like this time and time again. Like that is all he does. She barely knows me. And I have seen her child act out. Time and time again. Isn't that what kids do sometimes? Shoot, as my husband says, even adults act out... as she did.

She apologized for her outburst, explains some reasoning behind it (she was picked on, her child is sensitive), says I obviously have my hands full with three kids and can't handle them all (but in a nice way, so I guess that should make me feel better about it). She also blames my son for everything that happened there, even going on to say when he was playing tag he had "a malicious look in his eye when he did it, like he knew full well what he was doing", and tagged C. DS has no recollection of tagging C, at all.

The kicker is that she says it is obvious we do not give DS enough attention at home which is why he is acting out.

Then she says she would love to help me, basically gain control of my kids.

While I appreciate her apology and I do know that I owe her one for DS hitting C, the rest of the email infuriates me.
That isn't an apology, and my only suggestion is that you be nicer than I'd be.
post #76 of 124
Wow, i can't believe she emailed you like that! Totally insane. I like this response.


Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
Dear C's Mom,
Thank you for your message.
I accept your apology.
I'm sorry the boys had trouble getting along. Ds was wrong to hit when your son called him a name. I have spoken to him about it and we are talking about better ways to handle situations that might crop up in future.

Sincerely,
Savoury
post #77 of 124
I don't agree with forced apologies. But if your son wasn't going to show remorse for hitting I think you should have. Name calling is out of line, but so is taking someone's toy and not giving it to them and then hitting them with the toy. Hitting is something that should never happen unless you are being kidnapped.

If the boy didn't want to play he only had himself to blame, but you mention that you see this lady in more than one setting and it may be that she sees your son acting like this in more than one setting and has had enough of it. Even parents who hit don't like seeing kids bully their children in a group setting week after week. If that is the case than you might want to consider doing something else with your son like leaving immediately if he starts taking things and hitting.

If you go over and intervene immediately when he takes something and tell him he needs to ask to join in the game then that may be more powerful to you than it was for you to allow him to continue to join in the games in inappropriate ways. You can see that he wants to join in, but to the other children and some of the parents his joining in looks like stealing equipment for himself, egging other kids on, and hitting them. If you can stop this and redirect him to an appropriate way to join in right at first it may not get to the point where he lashes out physically.
post #78 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
Or instead of saying you accept her apology, say "thanks for taking the time to email me." like another poster mentioned. Don't mention that your son has any issues. You may feel that he has issues, but don't acknowledge that to anyone who would use that against him.

Good point. I also though wouldn't say anything about her son calling yours names, etc as that just opens the door for her to start another antagonistic encounter if she doesn't believe you/her son denies it/etc. If you feel it necessary you can mention that your son feels it would be appropriate to apologize to C the next time he sees him (I would only include this if you're sure he'll still feel that way and if you think your son's going up to C to do so would cause another outburst from her at the time). Basically accept her apology, apologize for your son (however you want to do that) and try to prevent further discussion with this individual. She really does seem pretty unbalanced!

K.
post #79 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Just out of curiosity (and maybe this should be it's own thread)-- if you do forced apologies, do you do forced forgiveness as well? Like, if someone says they're sorry, does your kid have to say "I forgive you?"
great question! I've never even thought of that.

I don't do forced apologies, never have, but my children are quite remorseful and able to apologise spontaniously with genuine feeling when they feel sorry and it all came about without any forcing ever. I've taught them how to apologise without ever forcing them to.

I've just developed other ways to encourage them to express that they are sorry when they feel that way.

I love when I hear them playing and one gets hurt and even if it's an accident the other becomes caring, kind and apologetic for their part in whatever has happened. It's wonderful
post #80 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
I think some people get more out of their children apologize then their children get out of it. This was the case for my mom. Her goal was for her kids to make her look good. My goal is for my children to show the good inside them on their own for the own benefit, not for mine. love you insight on this whole thing. I think its hard for some people to understand this the way you and I do. Do you think you are a sensitive person, and thats why you are able to pick up on the subtleties?
This is getting way OT, but very quickly...

I don't think I'm any more sensitive than average, in a general sense. I think I'm possibly more sensitive to this particular issue than a lot of people, simply from being the recipient of so many insincere apologies. It became kind of a hot-button topic for me when I was still in school, and then years of completely meaningless "apologies" from my ex just aggravated my feelings about the subject.
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